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Pilot's Lounge Members meetup

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  #1  
Old 12-01-2012, 07:55 AM
Skoshi Tiger Skoshi Tiger is offline
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Default Japanese equipment in WWII

Just wondering if anyone has heard or read any accounts of Japanese ground forces using a tripod mounted 13mm (Around .50cal) machine gun in action in the Pacific theatre?

Their navy did have a type 93 13.2mm MG and I have seen a photo of one mounted on an "Army Tripod" but would it have been something the troops would have taken into battle?

The reason I'm asking is my Dad is putting together his memoirs from his time on the Kokoda Track and he remembers coming under fire by a large caliber MG that was cutting down saplings around them. We were trying to identify what it could be. The Japanese forces include army and marine forces.

From my quick look they should be using the type 92 heavy or 99 light MG both 7.7mm and the type 96 in 6.5mm.

Another posibility would be a gun scavenged from a downed aircraft??? On occasion the Australian forces took advantage of what they could find.

Anyone know any good links to look at? Any input welcome!

Cheers!

Last edited by Skoshi Tiger; 12-01-2012 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:45 AM
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He111 He111 is offline
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I've watched a few docos on the PNG campaign, don't remember any heavy machine guns mentioned. They did have belt fed MG fired while lying down.

probably more deadly in the jungle would have been mortars, heavy ones, which the Japanese did have from memory.

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Old 12-01-2012, 01:11 PM
Skoshi Tiger Skoshi Tiger is offline
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Well that's what I sort of figured. I've only seen reference to the 7.7mm MG's

As far as the Kokoda campaign went, as well as mortars the Japanese also had their demountable Model 92 and 94 70mm Mountain guns which they dismantled and humped (and used) all the way to Ioribaiwa ridge!

Compared to the Japanese the Australians were woefully ill-equiped on the Kokoda Track. It wasn't until the Japanese were insight of Port Moresby that they encountered the Aussie 25 Pounders that had been moved on to Imita.

The most firepower Australians had was their Bren guns (The Vickers deemed too heavy) and they also had issues with their own mortar rounds. Several air-dropped rounds exploded in the tubes because the safety stage of the fuses had been set off during their rough landings.

From that point on the diggers could only use rounds that had been carried in by hand.

Cheers!

Last edited by Skoshi Tiger; 12-01-2012 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:40 PM
swiss swiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skoshi Tiger View Post
MG that was cutting down saplings around them.
A 7.x CAN do that.
If you have bushes in front your trench you have all the reason to be afraid - not because ricochets could hit you but of the wood debris are potentially lethal.
Source: swiss army trials, result: never have any wood in front or above your position.
Our tank crews were actually trained to pick such targets as barricades, in case they suspect enemy troops behind them.

Last edited by swiss; 12-02-2012 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:33 PM
Al Schlageter Al Schlageter is offline
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Wood splinters on the old sailing ships killed and maimed more sailors than the cannon balls.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:13 PM
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major_setback major_setback is offline
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Wood splinters on the old sailing ships killed and maimed more sailors than the cannon balls.
Didn't Nelson lose an eye that way?

...or was it Napoleon's arm?

...or Hitler's ****
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:28 PM
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KG26_Alpha KG26_Alpha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skoshi Tiger View Post
Just wondering if anyone has heard or read any accounts of Japanese ground forces using a tripod mounted 13mm (Around .50cal) machine gun in action in the Pacific theatre?

Their navy did have a type 93 13.2mm MG and I have seen a photo of one mounted on an "Army Tripod" but would it have been something the troops would have taken into battle?

The reason I'm asking is my Dad is putting together his memoirs from his time on the Kokoda Track and he remembers coming under fire by a large caliber MG that was cutting down saplings around them. We were trying to identify what it could be. The Japanese forces include army and marine forces.

From my quick look they should be using the type 92 heavy or 99 light MG both 7.7mm and the type 96 in 6.5mm.

Another posibility would be a gun scavenged from a downed aircraft??? On occasion the Australian forces took advantage of what they could find.

Anyone know any good links to look at? Any input welcome!

Cheers!
Possibly captured weapon being used ?
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:45 AM
Skoshi Tiger Skoshi Tiger is offline
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Well that would be one of the possibilities Swiss. I am sure any gun firing at someone sounds a lot bigger!

The use of captured weapons would be a possibility. I don't think Australians had that sort of gun in that area.

A Japanese weapon in the .50cal class would be theType 93 MG but How could I find out if they were actually being used in that area.





Image from the AWM,



Caption-
DescriptionFINSCHHAFEN AREA, NEW GUINEA, 1943-10-28. GUNNERS OF THE 2/2ND AUSTRALIAN MACHINE GUN BATTALION POSE WITH A JAPANESE .5 HEAVY MACHINE GUN WHICH THEY CAPTURED. THEY ARE, LEFT TO RIGHT:- QX8775 PRIVATE A.M. JOHNSTON (1); NX59266 PRIVATE J.A. BEAMAN (2); NX52519 CORPORAL A. ROWLEY (3); NX24045 LANCE CORPORAL P. MILLER (4); NX34475 SERGEANT S.E. MURRAY (5).
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:06 AM
NZtyphoon NZtyphoon is offline
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I have a DVD of the Kokoda campaign so I'll see if I can find anything related to the Japanese using a heavy MG - my guess is that if it was possible to lug mountain guns through the jungle and up the extremely steep and muddy trails, lugging a heavy mg would be a possibility.

As others have mentioned there is the possibility of some improvisation at unit level, not forgetting that some types of JAAF aircraft (eg: Ki-43, Ki-48 ) were equipped with 12.7mm Type 1s (Ho 103), which were very similar to the .50 Browning, and were available on flexible, as well as fixed mountings.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:08 AM
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Read a book about it years ago, might have been one of these http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_...e+kokoda+trail, and as far as I can remember one of the reasons the Japanese managed to push the Ausies in front of them while going uphill, in a single row, on a narrow trail, in mountainous jungle terrain, with supply lines getting longer and longer was the lack of heavy guns in the Ausie lines. The second reason is of course lack of coordination and planning.
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